G8, outreach partners for more structured dialogue

By Arvind Padmanabhan


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Heiligendamm : The group of eight developed countries (G8) and its five outreach allies including India Friday pledged to continue their dialogue on key issues including investment and energy efficiency in a more structured manner under what is being called the "Heiligendamm Process".

The Heiligendamm Process, proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host of the G8 Summit, the outreach partners will continue to discuss and review progress in four key areas till the 2009 summit in Italy.

In a joint statement issued after the G8 Outreach Summit, also attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the two sides said their dialogue will cover four areas – cross-border investment, research, development and energy efficiency.

"We commit to embark on a high-level dialogue on specific challenges as proposed by the G8 as a follow-up to continue discussions in a more structured manner for a period of two years until the G8 Summit in 2009."

The engagement between G8 and the outreach partners – who have been meeting each year since the 2005 summit in St. Petersburg – has been more informal in nature which some of the members now want to institutionalise.

In energy, the two sides said they would not only promote cost-effective use of fossil fuels and clean coal technology, but also increase the use of renewable energy sources such as bio-fuels and bio-mass.

They also committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and said they would also follow the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities.

"The adaptation to climate change will be a major challenge for all countries, in particular for developing countries, and means for adaptation need to be included in a future agreement along with enhanced technology cooperation and financing."